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Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Muscle Activation on Knee, Thigh, and Hip Injuries in Frontal Crashes Using a Finite-Element Model with Muscle Forces from Subject Testing and Musculoskeletal Modeling

In a previous study, the authors reported on the development of a finite-element model of the midsize male pelvis and lower extremities with lower-extremity musculature that was validated using PMHS knee-impact response data. Knee-impact simulations with this model were performed using forces from four muscles in the lower extremities associated with two-foot bracing reported in the literature to provide preliminary estimates of the effects of lower-extremity muscle activation on knee-thigh-hip injury potential in frontal impacts. The current study addresses a major limitation of these preliminary simulations by using the AnyBody three-dimensional musculoskeletal model to estimate muscle forces produced in 35 muscles in each lower extremity during emergency one-foot braking.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Knee-Thigh-Hip Response in Frontal Impacts Using Biomechanical Testing and Computational Simulations

Development and validation of crash test dummies and computational models that are capable of predicting the risk of injury to all parts of the knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex in frontal impact requires knowledge of the force transmitted from the knee to the hip under knee impact loading. To provide this information, the knee impact responses of whole and segmented cadavers were measured over a wide range of knee loading conditions. These data were used to develop and help validate a computational model, which was used to estimate force transmitted to the cadaver hip. Approximately 250 tests were conducted using five unembalmed midsize male cadavers. In these tests, the knees were symmetrically impacted with a 255-kg padded impactor using three combinations of knee-impactor padding and velocity that spanned the range of knee loading conditions produced in FMVSS 208 and NCAP tests. Each subject was tested in four conditions.
Technical Paper

Cervical Spine Geometry in the Automotive Seated Posture: Variations with Age, Stature, and Gender

In the mid 1970s, UMTRI investigated the biomechanical properties of the head and neck using 180 “normal” adult subjects selected to fill eighteen subject groups based on age (young, mid-aged, older), gender, and stature (short, medium, and tall by gender). Lateral-view radiographs of the subjects’ cervical spines and heads were taken with the subjects seated in a simulated automotive neutral posture, as well as with their necks in full-voluntary flexion and full-voluntary extension. Although the cervical spine and lower head geometry were previously measured manually and documented, new technologies have enabled computer digitization of the scanned x-ray images and a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the variation in cervical spine and lower head geometry with subject age, stature, and gender. After scanning the radiographic images, 108 skeletal landmarks on the cervical vertebrae and 10 head landmarks were digitized.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Driver Eye Position Model

SAE Recommended Practice J941 describes the eyellipse, a statistical representation of driver eye locations, that is used to facilitate design decisions regarding vehicle interiors, including the display locations, mirror placement, and headspace requirements. Eye-position data collected recently at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) suggest that the SAE J941 practice could be improved. SAE J941 currently uses the SgRP location, seat-track travel (L23), and design seatback angle (L40) as inputs to the eyellipse model. However, UMTRI data show that the characteristics of empirical eyellipses can be predicted more accurately using seat height, steering-wheel position, and seat-track rise. A series of UMTRI studies collected eye-location data from groups of 50 to 120 drivers with statures spanning over 97 percent of the U.S. population. Data were collected in thirty-three vehicles that represent a wide range of vehicle geometry.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Predicting Automobile Driver Posture

Recent research in the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program has led to the development of a new method for automobile driver posture prediction, known as the Cascade Model. The Cascade Model uses a sequential series of regression functions and inverse kinematics to predict automobile occupant posture. This paper presents an alternative method for driver posture prediction using data-guided kinematic optimization. The within-subject conditional distributions of joint angles are used to infer the internal cost functions that guide tradeoffs between joints in adapting to different vehicle configurations. The predictions from the two models are compared to in-vehicle driving postures.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Head/Neck Impact Responses for Helmeted and Unhelmeted Motorcyclists

The purpose of this study was to assess, by use of computer simulations, the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in reducing head and neck injuries in motorcyclist impacts. The computer model used was the MVMA Two-Dimensional Crash Victim Simulator. The study investigated a wide variety of impact conditions in order to establish a broad overall view of the effectiveness of helmets. It was found that helmet use invariably reduces dynamic responses which have a role in producing head injury and, in addition, almost always reduces the severity of neck response as well. For no configuration or condition does the helmet greatly increase the likelihood of neck injury. Thus, these simulations of a wide spectrum of motorcyclist impacts provide further evidence that helmet use significantly reduces the likelihood and severity of both head and neck injuries. This study was supported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Technical Paper

Methods for Laboratory Investigation of Truck and Bus Driver Postures

Few studies have systematically examined the effects of truck and bus workstation geometry on driver posture and position. This paper presents methods for determining drivers' postural responses and preferred component locations using a reconfigurable vehicle mockup. Body landmark locations recorded using a three-dimensional digitizer are used to compute a skeletal-linkage representation of the drivers' posture. A sequential adjustment procedure is used to determine the preferred positions and orientations of key components, including the seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Data gathered using these methods will be used to create new design tools for trucks and buses, including models of driver-selected seat position, eye location, and needed component adjustment ranges. The results will also be used to create accurate posture-prediction models for use with human modeling software.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the ASPECT Manikin

The primary objective of the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program was to develop a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point manikin. The new ASPECT manikin builds on the long-term success of the H-point manikin while adding new measurement capability and improved ease of use. The ASPECT manikin features an articulated torso linkage to measure lumbar support prominence; new contours based on human subject data; a new weighting scheme; lightweight, supplemental thigh, leg, and shoe segments; and a simpler, user-friendly installation procedure. This paper describes the new manikin in detail, including the rationale and motivation for the design features. The ASPECT manikin maintains continuity with the current SAE J826 H-point manikin in important areas while providing substantial new measurement capability.
Technical Paper

ASPECT: The Next-Generation H-Point Machine and Related Vehicle and Seat Design and Measurement Tools

The ASPECT program was conducted to develop new Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools. This paper presents a summary of the objectives, methods, and results of the program. The primary goal of ASPECT was to create a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point machine. The new ASPECT manikin has an articulated torso linkage, revised seat contact contours, a new weighting scheme, and a simpler, more user-friendly installation procedure. The ASPECT manikin simultaneously measures the H-point location, seat cushion angle, seatback angle, and lumbar support prominence of a seat, and can be used to make measures of seat stiffness. In addition to the physical manikin, the ASPECT program developed new tools for computer-aided design (CAD) of vehicle interiors. The postures and positions of hundreds of vehicle occupants with a wide range of body size were measured in many different vehicle conditions.
Technical Paper

ASPECT Manikin Applications and Measurements for Design, Audit, and Benchmarking

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) manikin provides new capabilities for vehicle and seat measurement while maintaining continuity with previous practices. This paper describes how the manikin is used in the development of new designs, the audit verification of build, and in benchmarking competitive vehicles and seats. The measurement procedures are discussed in detail, along with the seat and package dimensions that are associated with the new tool.
Technical Paper

New Concepts in Vehicle Interior Design Using ASPECT

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program developed a new physical manikin for seat measurement and new techniques for integrating the seat measurements into the vehicle design process. This paper presents an overview of new concepts in vehicle interior design that have resulted from the ASPECT program and other studies of vehicle occupant posture and position conducted at UMTRI. The new methods result from an integration of revised versions of the SAE seat position and eyellipse models with the new tools developed in ASPECT. Measures of seat and vehicle interior geometry are input to statistical posture and position prediction tools that can be applied to any specified user population or individual occupant anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

Investigating Driver Headroom Perception: Methods and Models

Recent changes in impact protection requirements have led to increased padding on vehicle interior surfaces. In the areas near the driver's head, thicker padding can reduce the available headspace and may degrade the driver's perception of headroom. A laboratory study of driver headroom perception was conducted to investigate the effects of physical headroom on the subjective evaluation of headroom. Ninety-nine men and women rated a range of headroom conditions in a reconfigurable vehicle mockup. Unexpectedly, driver stature was not closely related to the perception of headroom. Short-statured drivers were as likely as tall drivers to rate a low roof condition as unacceptable. Statistical models were developed from the data to predict the effects of changes in headroom on the percentage of drivers rating the head-room at a specified criterion level.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Properties of the Human Neck in Lateral Flexion

Properties of the human neck which may influence a person's susceptibility to “whiplash” injury during lateral impact have been studied in 96 normal subjects. Subjects were chosen on the basis of age, sex, and stature and data were grouped into six primary categories based on sex (F, M) and age (18-24, 35-44, 62-74). The data include: measures of head, neck and body anthropometry in standing and simulated automotive seating positions, three-dimensional range of motion of the head and neck, head/neck response to low-level acceleration, and both stretch reflex time and voluntary isometric muscle force in the lateral direction. Reflex times are found to vary from about 30 to 70 ms with young and middle aged persons having faster times than older persons, and females having faster times than males. Muscle strength decreases with age and males are, on the average, stronger than females.
Technical Paper

Laboratory Investigations and Mathematical Modeling of Airbag-Induced Skin Burns

Although driver-side airbag systems provide protection against serious head and chest injuries in frontal impacts, injuries produced by the airbag itself have also been reported. Most of these injuries are relatively minor, and consist primarily of skin abrasions and burns. Previous investigations have addressed the mechanisms of airbag-induced skin abrasion. In the current research, laboratory studies related to the potential for thermal burns due to high-temperature airbag exhaust gas were conducted. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to produce a 10-mm-diameter jet of hot air that was directed onto the leg skin of human volunteers in time-controlled pulses. Skin burns were produced in 70 of 183 exposures conducted using air temperatures ranging from 350 to 550°C, air velocities from 50 to 90 m/s, and exposure durations from 50 to 300 ms.
Technical Paper

An Improved Seating Accommodation Model with Application to Different User Populations

A new approach to driver seat-position modeling is presented. The equations of the Seating Accommodation Model (SAM) separately predict parameters of the distributions of male and female fore/aft seat position in a given vehicle. These distributions are used together to predict specific percentiles of the combined male-and-female seat-position distribution. The effects of vehicle parameters-seat height, steering-wheel-to-accelerator pedal distance, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type-are reflected in the prediction of mean seat position. The mean and standard deviation of driver population stature are included in the prediction for the mean and standard deviation of the seat-position distribution, respectively. SAM represents a new, more flexible approach to predicting fore/aft seat-position distributions for any driver population in passenger vehicles. Model performance is good, even at percentiles in the tails of the distribution.
Technical Paper

Simulation Analysis of Head and Neck Dynamic Response

The objectives of this study are to quantify the biomechanical properties of the human neck which govern head and neck dynamic response and to establish the mechanisms responsible for primary aspects of response. Computer simulations with the MVMA 2-D and VOM 3-D occupant dynamics models were performed using head and neck sled input response data from human subjects at the Naval Biodynamics Laboratory for input and comparison. Predicted dynamic response data and preliminary values for biomechanical parameters in a three-dimensional head/neck model capable of accurately simulating response for −X, +Y, and −X+Y sled acceleration vectors are presented. The established analytical model should accurately predict head and neck responses in simulations of real-world automobile crashes where direct head impact is not involved. Additionally, the model can be used to assist in development of a design plan for the neck of advanced anthropomorphic test dummies.